Bastian pleased with skilful Rovers

Etu Uaisele scores one of his three tries against Rochdale. Picture: Bob Nunn.
Etu Uaisele scores one of his three tries against Rochdale. Picture: Bob Nunn.

Coach John Bastian was delighted with Featherstone’s display and Tongan winger Etu Uaisele’s home debut in Sunday’s 56-6 win against Rochdale Hornet.

Uaisele grabbed a hat-trick of tries as Rovers climbed to second in the Kingstone Press Championship before they take a break this weekend because they have a bye into the fourth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.

“I thought we were very expansive in the first-half and very skilful,” said Bastian.

“We executed the game plan particularly well and scored some wonderful tries, coming out of our end, not just the opposition’s top end.

“I thought Etu did really well. I am more delighted that his family are settling into Yorkshire and that he’s settling into Featherstone and his teammates are certainly making that easy for him as well. They have been great with him.

“I was delighted with James Lockwood on the left edge and Greg Worthington. I thought they really complemented the hat-trick he scored.”

For the second successive match, Rovers conceded just one try and Bastian was again pleased with the defensive display.

Bastian added: “Our defensive systems are very good.

“Rochdale threw a little bit at us at times and I thought we dealt with it well. We got caught in the second-half when they got a try after we conceded too many penalties.

“The game got a little bit scrappy in the second-half which probably doesn’t suit us as a rugby league team.”

Kyle Briggs made his second apperarance following major knee surgery and Ian Hardman and Andy Kain were both recalled to the side.

Bastian said: “We gave a couple a run and rightly so. Ian Hardman went back in and did a solid job at full-back. Andy Kain jumped in as well and he also did a solid job at right side pivot.

“Kyle Briggs’ lungs were very busy towards the last 20 minutes. I purposely dropped him in at loose-forward so that his energy levels had to go up. It will do him the world of good for his fitness levels.

“Kyle is a big player for us and a smart, tough player who is energetic. I’ve known Kyle for a lot of years and he’s certainly a big part of our plans at Featherstone Rovers.”

Amateurs Normanton Knights play Workington Town in the Challenge Cup third round at Big Fellas Stadium on Saturday (2pm). Admission is £10 adults and £5 concessions.

On Sunday, Featherstone under 20s host London Skolars in a warm up match (2.30pm).